The iPad’s seen some pretty divisive opinions mainly focused around what it doesn’t do. Of its shortcomings, only one can’t be rectified through a software update, a front-facing camera. All the other noise that have naysayers shouting from the mountains can be introduced through future software updates to heal your wounds. While it may take a generation or two for Apple to kick itself into gear, we’ve always got the trusty jailbreaking community to fill in the holes as we wait for future updates. So what’s jailbreaking going to bring to the iPad?
Of the most loudly heard gripes with Apple’s shipping version of the iPad seems to be the lack of multitasking. We’ve now got a device that’s much more capable than a phone but we’re still locked down to a phone’s productivity. What if I want to copy a Numbers spreadsheet into my Keynote presentation? As it stands, we’re stuck jumping in and out of applications that the speediest of hardware can’t overshadow. Jailbreakers have already found a way around Apple’s one-at-a-time philosophy so you can bet that much of the same jailbreak functionality will carry over. Multitasking will unleash the power of the iPad if Apple’s too stubborn to budge.
I find it strange that nobody’s ported a version of Adobe’s Flash into an iPhone browser to be downloaded via the jailbroken Cydia store. Perhaps as Flash 10.1 makes its way out of beta, we’ll see some tricky jailbreakers work their magic, morphing mobile Safari into a battery hog so many are after. A flash capable browser would ail the Hulu crowd, making the iPad one of the best internet video devices around. Preserving battery life would simple with a switch that drops down (via SBSettings) for instant toggling. Stick it to Apple, Adobe, and get behind the jailbreak community.
If you’re thinking about forking over the extra $130 for that 3G-enabled iPad you might want to think twice, especially if you’re already paying for a smartphone data plan. Instead, jailbreakers will find a way to mesh your two devices’ Bluetooth capabilities, allowing your iPad to leech off the connection you’re currently paying for. Jailbreak that iPhone and you’re good to go, with an always-on 2G connection to boot! This could break your phone contract but it’s pretty unlikely you’ll get caught.
Before the iPad came to be, the lofty expectations that followed the iPhone had some expecting Apple to rethink how we enter information on a device that’s not meant to be a phone. Do you hold it with one hand and type with the other or do you set it down on your lap and type like a normal keyboard? The idea of a split keyboard made the rounds where thumb input would easily accessible. As we’ve seen on the iPhone from a technology named Swype, there are certainly better alternatives to the keyboard we’ve become so accustomed. Jailbreakers will be able to modify the default keyboard, perhaps adding Swype’s functionality or even something better.
App Store Freedom
You may not be looking for Google Voice for your iPad but there’s a group out there that just wants freedom from Apple’s restrictive App Store policies. Jailbreaking will allow all the apps that Apple’s rejected to make their way into the Cydia store, removing the limit of what’s possible on Apple’s turf. Expect some mighty impressive apps to make their way to the iPad through means besides the App Store.
If there are any killer features or apps you’d expect to make their way onto the iPad through jailbreaking, be sure to share in the comments!